Cerebral tuberous sclerosis: MR imaging

Radiology. 1989 Mar;170(3 Pt 1):869-73. doi: 10.1148/radiology.170.3.2916045.


Nineteen patients with a clinical diagnosis of tuberous sclerosis were examined with high-field-strength magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Their ages ranged from 6 months to 12 years. In 17 cases, the MR examinations showed both subependymal nodules and multiple peripheral gyral lesions consistent with cortical tubers. Cortical tubers were more frequently demonstrated on spin-echo images obtained with a long repetition time (TR). Because the signal abnormality was located predominantly in the subcortical portion of the tubers, the terms "gyral core" and "sulcal island" were used to describe the patterns noted at MR imaging. Subependymal nodules were best seen on inversion-recovery or short TR spin-echo images, although hypointensity within the nodules consistent with calcification was present in 14 patients and was most evident on long TR spin-echo images. Computed tomographic (CT) scans that had been obtained within 3 years of MR images were available for 13 patients. Intracranial calcification was more accurately diagnosed with CT. However, MR imaging is more sensitive than CT in the detection of gyral tubers and, thus, may be better for screening family members and others in whom tuberous sclerosis is a possibility.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / diagnosis*